American Society of Civil Engineers

Temperature Distribution in Layered Road Structures

by Chiu Liu, P.E., (NAFTA Coordinator and Transp. Engrg. Dir., Texas Ctrs. for Border Economic Development, Burges Hall, Rm. 414, UTEP, El Paso, TX 79968) and Deren Yuan, (Res. Engr., Ctr. for Highway Materials Res., UTEP, El Paso, TX)

Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 126, No. 1, January/February 2000, pp. 93-95, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: An analytic framework dealing with heat movement in a three-layer pavement structure is set up based on the Fourier-Biot heat conduction equation. Exact analytic solution is obtained. The thermal characteristic frequencies of the pavement structure are derived in terms of the thermal properties of the layers. These frequencies are useful for understanding the recorded temperatures at different depths within a pavement structure. This is demonstrated using actual field data collected in a flexible pavement. Furthermore, this study shows that the thermal wave is significantly attenuated by the surface layer of the structure.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Flexible pavements
Layered systems
Temperature distribution
Thermal diffusion